• By The Financial District

DIGITAL COLLAGE OF BEEPLE DRAWINGS SELLS FOR $69M

A digital collage of thousands of drawings just sold for more than $69 million at an online auction, Nicoletta Lanese reported for LiveScience.

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The artwork was produced by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, and is a composite of 5,000 individual drawings, according to the auction house Christie's.


Winkelmann began creating the work in May 2007, when he launched a project called "Everydays," in which he committed to producing and posting a new piece of art online every day.


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After 5,000 straight days of art-making — more than 13 years — Winkelmann compiled the images into a collage called "Everydays: The First 5000 Days." And on Thursday (March 11), the piece sold for $69,346,250 at Christie's. Bidding opened on Feb. 25 at $100.


The work sold as a non-fungible token (NFT), meaning the buyer now owns the work as a unique string of code that verifies its authenticity, NBC News reported.


Essentially, the NFT ties the artwork — in this case, an image file — to unique identification codes and metadata, all stored and traded on blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, according to Investopedia.


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The Winkelmann artwork will "be delivered directly from Beeple to the buyer, accompanied by a unique NFT encrypted with the artist's unforgeable signature and uniquely identified on the blockchain," according to Christie's. (The identity of the buyer is not noted on the website).


This is the auction house's first sale of purely digital art and the first time it has accepted payment in the form of cryptocurrency, the New York Times reported. Per the sales contract, Winkelmann will earn 10% of the profits each time the work is resold. "When you buy the artwork, you're sort of entering into a relationship with me," Winkelmann told the Times.



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